Juliana Ariel Scarfone Vidiographer Photographer
With 100 breeder booths packed to the scales with slithering, crawling, jumping, and even flying specie of life from around the globe, I was wondering how hard it would be to locate the booth of GlassCages.Com as we pulled into the busy parking lot . Glass Cages had a pristine reputation for building custom Glass tanks, and we were there to both Interview and Pick Up An Amazing Custom Made Glass Marine Aquarium that had been drilled, cut, and made to my orders. Completely self contained and able to accept the custom devices I had both purchased and created.
The REEF REPORT TEAM
Juliana Ariel Scarfone, has been one of our official, Press Credential Holding, EzNewsTv / Reef Show Videographer and Photographer Team Members since 2002. Juliana was responcibil for the Photography and Videography for the GlassCages Interview; posted on Reef Show & EZnewsTV Online. As you can see, she was ready for the job.She began her Journey to this position handing out busisness cards and brochures at the 1999 Gwinnett County Fair. She was 3 Years Of Age! The same age she operated her own computer system. Since that time, she has been a Key Assistant, working her way from promoting our internet presence, computer operations to Photo/Video/Audio Productions.
We were met by a 1970’s like New York Times Square flash of color, banner, noise and hobbyists wearing everything from tee shirts to bearded dragons and slithering snakes.
The Glass Cages booth was surely not hard to discover, it was packed with Aquariums, Supplies, Lookers, and Buyers whom had ordered one in the last year and waited until the Glass Cages Crew hit their City …..and it was only the first hour of the first day!”…
The Tennessee based Glass Cages booth spread from a corner wall nearly two thirds down to the opposite wall. Glass aquariums of all sizes for the Reptile and Amphibian hobbyist dominated the walls and ends of the booth. Included in and around and on top and behind these displays were lights, branch wood, covers, screens, tee shirts and more. All of the product seemed destined for building new homes for the Caimans (South American alligator), Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, Frogs, BIRDS, Spiders and other like animals and creatures that were being hawked in a Arabian Bazaar like manner from the
Hundreds of tanks, cages and plastic containers covering vendor and breeder tables like an 8th Century Chinese Emperor’s banquet of exotic creatures also included supplies.. .
Lizards Snakes …… Those Reptilian Creatures that sway both the mind and pocket book were as available as the containing systems …
It was pretty simple to know who the Tom was that I had spoken to several times when ordering some of the new Reef Ready Aquariums for the Reef Show Program.
He was dressed in no-nonsense blue overalls and a simple orange tee; the clothing of a man, who, without pretense, knows he has accomplished something good –and with his own two hands. His graying goatee and well-groomed, parted gtray tinted blonde hair spoke both of life and time. Yet it was his piercing blue/grey eyes behind the simple glasses that told a story. And I knew there was a story here…
Like an orange gliding though a sea of molasses –not to say He or any of the black tee-shirted Glass Cages Crew were any slower in assisting the many hobbyists and interested — he matter-of-factly glided to anf fro and sideways all while answering questions as if it were a choreographed stage show.
I approached him and identified myself. Truly a master of the dance of business, he was able to hear what I had to say about the timing of the interview while not losing the attention of the individual he was talking to. ….You can imagine, here I was, just another guy with another story with another idea, an otherwise anonymous individual, one of thousands who had ordered an aquarium from Glass Cages the past twenty years, asking the best aquarium maker in the U.S. Of A for some of his most valuable time… Yet he simply moved along without missing pace and while agreeing to get together when the exhibit would close for the day….
As Jas held her video camera Tom began telling me his story in the same straight forward manner he had taken my order back in September.
Tom had never “done” an interview. He was in the pet business in Chicago before he had a heart attack at the young age of 40 (and open heart bypass surgery ten years later!).
“It just happened, no warning, nothing. I was walking on a hot sunny day and it just happened. I know it was the heat.”
After he recovered, he knew he had to change something. So he asked a well known aquarium manufacturer if he could distribute their aquariums:
” They ignored me. [They] just walked away. So I began to make my own.”
So, with this simple and direct statement, Matter-Of-Fact-Tom, became the best custom manufacturer of glass aquariums in the United States – including the best Reef Ready Systems with bulkheads and overflows- because some company missed out on an opportunity to have a man on their team with Tom’s great determination and skill.
As I spoke with Tom, I grew to know and like him by his direct way of talking
Tom is a smart, direct, honest, experienced and, I must say, “A” to the point individual with little time for the extra syllables and sentences many of us use and are used to. Those not ready for a man who knows what he is doing, and knows that he is the best at what he does, and knows he will get the job done, who just wants to know THE FACTS, may be taken aback and think *’haughty’… and that would be a mistake that could cost you $$ while
[*LOL: please look this up if you do not know what this means] delivering less quality and quantity.
So, a word to the wise. Tom’s way of talk matches his spirit for getting the job done right, correct and “the best that can be gotten” with a machine like endeavor. If you call him, BE PREPARED FOR FAST ACTION.. we are talking NO MACHINE GUN CHATTER!
Know what you want. Research what you want. DO NOT CALL HIM UNTIL YOU ARE READY. And, when you do call him, stay on and to the point.
Now, this IS NOT to say that you cannot ask him a question, or his advise, but be ready to tell him what you want and you will NEVER EVER be sorry!
This advise became fact as we strolled out to the two giant trucks that had been packed from the tail-door to the cab back with aquariums only 7 hours earlier. People had lined up, ticket in hand, as a crew of strong men pulled tank after tank and delivered them to folk who left happy and KNEW they had gotten a great DEAL!
As we walked towards the reef truck (one truck held Reef and Fresh Water Tanks, the other Terrariums and Animal Habitats) Tom explained that most of the custom reef ready systems had been picked up. Yet, there were still enough tanks awaiting pickup in the deep innards of the behemoth trucks to take a good look. From glass to acrylic there were systems waiting to be picked up.
[YES! Tom and his Crew also build acrylic aquariums, though, like reef show, Tom recommends glass for marine systems due to the fact that acrylic will scratch easily]
Among the remaining systems, one 240 beauty lay flat on the bottom left corner of the truck. It was beautiful. The workmanship perfect. It’s strength readily apparent in it’s perfection of smart euro bracing, fortified bulkheads and solid overflows.
I was admiring the system when Tom said, that one is yours….
You know, it is just a 240G system. I know it is just a 240G system. This is one of the systems we ordered. We have 800 gallons already, and are installing lots more.. so why all the cries of WOW! All equipment and line would enter from the back side, where you see the black marker id. several holes through bottom, a double interbnal overflow partition, all completed per my specificatiomns!
I will say this: “When it comes to aquariums for the Marine and Fresh Water Hobbyist, until you see a Glass Cages Reef Ready System MADE the WAY you WANT IT, you will not know.. and may NEVER KNOW WOW !” [man, that would be a bummer!]
Tom and I spoke about the whims of many reefers whom desire a piece of Tom’s Action. Those who desire custom systems want them fast. They want them inexpensive. They want them made to their own specifications. With a literal ton of custom orders at hand at any given time, Glass Cages has to work quick, straight and to the point, while focusing on expert quality control.
These factors combined mean that Time is always the Essence to keep costs down while maintaining quality. This way of business sometimes rubs some folk the wrong way because they simply miss the facts. Tom knows that he will build only the best, but he also knows that there are limits to building an aquarium and maintaining profits. He will not skimp. So, he sticks to a proven plan while providing the best terrarium and aquariums money can buy. Period. His designs are twenty years proven.
Glass Cages provides custom bulkheads and over-flows. Builds 10 to 800 gallon systems without pause. Glass Cages also builds custom cabinet stand and hood systems that are unique and door less, yet open in a snap for Metal Halide and Multiple VHO and T5 Fluorescent lighting and under-tank equipment.
So, today, Sunday, November 21st, I, and the Reef Show Full Crew, head back to the Convention Center, truck-in-hand, to pick up our systems and personally thank Tom for his dedication to our systems. That is right. You see, when Glass Cages begins working ON YOUR NEW SYSTEM, they are working for you….
So, we thank Glass Cages for their time and say to you, when in need of a Aquarium call visit GlassCages.Com, mail or call them at :
We would like to thank Juliana Ariel Scarfone for her excellent photography and videography [Her Video is on Reef Show. Note she also utilized her own compyuter to edit the pics and vids! Shge jhas had a computer since 3 years of age! i
PHOTOS BY JAS